China Ministry of Information Industry and Microsoft Join to Build Labs for National Software and Integrated Circuits Public Service Platform

BEIJING, March 10, 2004 — The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and Microsoft reached an agreement today in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly build the platform and embedded software labs for the National Software and ICs Public Service Platform.

According to the MOU, Microsoft Corporation, under the guidance of MII and in cooperation with its partners, will establish the Windows.NET-based technology labs, as part of the National Software and Integrated Circuits Public Service Platform. Microsoft will work with both the Chinese and international IT companies to build the labs and serve a large number of small and medium-sized Chinese software companies and the computer users in China.

The Public Service Platform is an institution through which the government guides the development of the software and IC industries and provides resources and technical services for the innovation. It is to guide the development and application of the industries, to engage domestic and foreign enterprises to truly realize the in-depth cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises, and to achieve mutual benefits and common development through the joint development and resource sharing.

Microsoft is committed to providing software and hardware equipment, technical support and training valued at no less than 80 million Yuan over the next two years to the labs in order to support partners and local software companies in their research and application development efforts.

Gou Zhongwen, Vice Minister of MII, and Kevin Johnson, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Corporation, together witnessed and participated in the MOU signing ceremony in China and in the United States of America respectively through remote video teleconference. Gou and Craig Mundie, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft, signed the MOU on Microsoft’s Windows Tablet PC through the teleconference.

In the signing ceremony, Ms. Zhang Qi, Director General of the Information Product Management Department, said, “Led by MII, the construction of the National Public Service Platform for Software and Integrated Circuits indicates that the Ministry is reshaping its role to create a vigorous environment for the growth of the software industry. To provide a public service platform for small and medium-sized companies will help them share technical resources and know-how and strengthen cooperation across the industry.”

“To carry out the policy of the State Council on the software and integrated circuits industries and boost the development of China’s software industry, MII has been making efforts to open the industry to the outside world and promote international cooperation in the past three years,” she said. “We support and encourage multinational companies, like Microsoft, to have substantial cooperation with domestic companies, which will bring benefits to both sides. Since entering WTO, China has granted national treatment to multinational companies and encouraged them to participate in related projects that will help propel the development of the software industry and application of information technologies, so that they will grow together with China’s IT industry.”

Kevin Johnson, Microsoft Senior Vice President, said, “The Windows platform and Microsoft technologies have been widely adopted in China and around the world and playing a key role in China’s computer and IT applications. We hope to better serve the government in this initiative and enable customers and partners to gain the benefits and realize their potential through the technologies and innovations Microsoft and our partners deliver.”

Tim Chen, Microsoft Vice President and CEO of Greater China, said: “Microsoft is committed to growing together with China’s information industry. We are working together with our partners to foster a healthy ecosystem. Under the leadership of MII with close cooperation with our partners, we will make further contributions to the development of the software economy.”

The joint labs will develop and test local applications based on Microsoft operating systems and demonstrate local solutions based on Windows and .NET technologies. In the field of embedded software, the labs will cooperate with domestic and international companies to develop and test innovative products and application solutions in order to promote software innovation and the adoption of information technologies.

About Microsoft

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